UPDATED October 14: Statement from Ash "I'm so sad to report that Peter passed away about 6am this morning. He was peacefully laying in his kitten bed, wrapped up in fleece, and he just went to sleep. He fought hard and even up until he passed, I thought he could still possibly pull through. He was the sweetest little one, and a trouble maker too... always trying to bite the crap out of my feet. He was fearless as well, had no problem running straight to one of the older kittens, 5 times his size and attacking them. He will be missed."
UPDATED October 12: Little Peter was hospitalized today and isn't doing well. Please keep him in your thoughts.
Ash Truesdale is well known in the Greenville area for her love of cats. Especially kittens. Ash rescues from Greenville County Animal Care Services, a high-kill shelter, where she has saved dozens of cats and kittens from euthanasia. Ash is "mommy" to many kittens who aren't weaned at the time of rescue.
Now Ash once again needs your help. Thanks to the generosity of others, the vet bill for Sam was paid. His illness was covered in this Examiner article.
There's been an increase in calicivirus type cases in the Greenville area, and Ash had had more than her share of them. She has stayed up at night syringe feeding kittens too weak to even walk, thanks to calicivirus. This is a horrible illness that takes many forms. High fever and sudden death are common with infected cats, as it mimics flu symptoms in humans.
Phoebe and Peter were rescued from Greenville County Animal Care Services, which is a high-kill shelter in upstate South Carolina. Phoebe has been with Ash for four weeks, and Peter for six weeks.
Phoebe and Peter both started to show signs of being ill earlier this week. Since both of Phoebe's brothers (Apollo & Zeus) have passed away of a still unknown illness (vet said something congenital or possibly Panleuk) over the last 3 weeks, Ash started monitoring their temperature, weight, food intake, and stool.
Phoebe vomited Tuesday night and has not since, Peter vomited Wednesday and also both started having diarrhea. So off to the vet they went as soon as the vet opened Thursday morning.
Phoebe was given a Parvo Snap Test which can usually show whether a kitten has Panleuk. It was positive immediately. This does not however mean that she for sure has it, as they can throw false positives or false negatives. The outlook for kittens this young with Panleuk is almost always death.
So, both were started on Amox, given fluids, given shots for nausea and sent home with me. Thursday night both seemed to be doing ok, Phoebe much better than Peter. Peter started to get more lethargic through the evening, but let Ash give him fluids every few hours.
This morning (Friday) Ash returned to the vet, and both kittens were given shots for nausea again, temps were taken, Peter has a slight fever but Phoebe does not. Peter was given fluids and Ash got more fluids to take home. Peter was also given more medication for the Coccidia they have been fighting for over a week now, just in case.
Phoebe had a normal temp and was not dehydrated at all. She is playing, eating on her own, and tonight she has only had normal stools. This is one reason Ash doesn't believe it is Panleuk, as kittens don't just "get over" Panleuk in a day and become fine!
Tonight Peter is getting fluids and being monitored very closely. He is having bad diarrhea, even though he was given medication for it today. He is mostly just sleeping but does get up to walk around every few hours. He does have a fever but his color looks good and Ash can tell he is a fighter!
There have been several cases of both panleuk and calicivirus in kittens over the past several months, but this holds true for any shelter. When you have animals put in confined space, under stressful conditions, it's amazing even more haven't taken ill.
It's just tough to save so many little lives when vet bills are hitting Ash on an almost daily basis. It doesn't really matter whether this is panleuk or calicivirus, because both illnesses must be found and fought quickly and aggressively if a kitten is to survive. This costs money, regardless of the diagnosis.
Ash has already spent $381 at the vet on these two yesterday and today combined. Yesterday was a total of $185 which she paid, but today's $196 is still due and must be paid on Monday. Ash simply does not have this money (nor the money for the bill she will likely run up tomorrow) and at this point her family is constantly behind on their own household bills due to so many vet bills.
The other issue is that Ash works from home, and it is almost impossible to get work done while constantly monitoring these sick babies, so her income is much less than normal as well. Add to that the cost of baby food chicken (something almost all sick kittens will eat, Pedialyte, tons of litter, canned food, etc etc... it really adds up!
Ash would really appreciate any help as she simply cannot "give up" on a little one in her care.
A donation fund at You Caring has been set up for Phoebe and Peter. Please help if you can. If you can't help, share this article with those who may be able to spare a few dollars.
For those of you interested in seeing the many kittens Ash has taken into her home, she has a Facebook page.